Although the epidemic situation has repeatedly added uncertainty to this year’s summer travel, it has not prevented a large number of new cultural and creative ice cream products from coming into the market.
Ice cream has been out of the circle, but there are few traditional big brands that layout this sub circuit. This year, more “big manufacturers” have appeared in this wave of new products, even including foreign brands – recently, Haagen Dazs, a subsidiary of general mills, has “enclosed” Hangzhou West Lake. Statistics show that the West Lake scenic area covers a total area of 49 square kilometers.
Let’s focus on the cultural and creative business model of “big factories”.
Xi’an City Wall Scenic Area
“Long term sales”
At present, more and more large ice cream brands also want to share in this segment.
For example, Haagen Dazs recently announced that it would join hands with West Lake Cultural Innovation to launch the “Tuan fan-shaped ice cream” of West Lake songyun cultural innovation and the “Xu Xianbai lady style” ice cream of West Lake cartoon cultural innovation, which has three flavors: strawberry, Matcha and vanilla.
“The new product was launched in early May this year, and the price of each product is 35 yuan. At present, this product is only sold in the West Lake scenic spot, and will be sold for a long time.” The company told the snack generation today.
In addition, Guangming dairy also told the snack generation earlier that this year, the factory has added a special-shaped ice cream production line and will develop new products of “cultural and creative concept”. As one of the top 10 players in China’s ice cream market, this is its latest move in the field of overweight cultural and creative ice cream. Dai also learned that he will log in and make an official announcement in the near future.
Despite repeated epidemics, the popularity of new cultural and creative ice cream products has not decreased this year. According to incomplete statistics, such cartoon images as “thousand year wild goose pagoda” and other architectural shapes; On June 1, Huangshan Scenic Spot officially launched a new and upgraded version of “welcoming pine” cultural and creative ice cream
From last year, there were not many big brands involved in this market. This is partly because the sales scenario of cultural and creative ice cream is usually limited and lacks large-scale potential, and the production line requirements of special-shaped ice cream and conventional ice cream are usually different, requiring new investment. This often means that the production cost is high but the profit level is low. Therefore, for many traditional big brands, this does not seem to be a very attractive business.
“Many of our customers are scenic spots, making hundreds of thousands of ice cream more, and thousands or tens of thousands less. Large ice cream factories are not very interested in cultural and creative ice cream, because the quantity is not enough, their sales threshold for a single product may be tens of millions, and they don’t like millions of small orders.” A cultural and creative ice cream supplier previously told the snack generation.
Hagen’s official microblog
So, how are the major ice cream brands speeding up their horse racing and enclosure in various scenic spots? There are also a variety of different ways to play behind this, including some brands choose to operate in a relatively asset light manner. Ice cream
“Haagen Dazs is responsible for providing high-quality products as the raw materials of cultural and creative ice cream, and authorizing them to use the Haagen Dazs raw material declaration badge for product packaging and publicity. It conducts due diligence on the factory and production process to ensure that they meet the quality standards. It also reviews the product and packaging design.” The relevant person in charge of Haagen Dazs told the snack generation.
The above person in charge pointed out that Beijing KuoShi Food Co., Ltd., as the “owner” of Wenchuang ice cream, purchased Haagen Dazs products as raw materials to design, produce and sell Wenchuang ice cream. Hangzhou Shenghe Commercial Tourism Service Co., Ltd. authorized Kuoshi to use the image related to the West Lake for product and packaging design, and authorized Kuoshi to sell cultural and creative ice cream in the West Lake scenic spot.
From the perspective of this cooperation mode, Haagen Dazs has strengthened the emotional connection between the brand and consumers with relatively “mild” participation, and played with consumers in more consumption scenarios; As a result, cultural and creative ice cream has added a value blessing of well-known brands, further upgrading the experience; Consumers can choose cultural and creative ice cream products with better quality and taste.
“With the demand of consumers for novel and interesting products, the market of Wenchuang ice cream has been growing since 2020. The original Wenchuang ice cream focused more on the uniqueness of the shape and did not pay attention to the raw materials. Therefore, it could not meet the demand in terms of taste and taste, and even led to the situation that consumers took pictures and punched cards with Wenchuang ice cream and threw it away without eating.” The relevant person in charge of Haagen Dazs told the snack generation.
The person in charge said that with the trend of consumption classification, some 5A level scenic spots are also upgrading their cultural and creative ice cream products, “striving not only to be more beautiful, but also to have better taste, so as to improve the customer unit price”. Therefore, some scenic spots are also seeking cooperation with famous brands.
Consideration beyond sales volume
It is not difficult to find that “Haagen Dazs” entered the cultural and creative ice cream track not entirely out of sales considerations.
“Cultural and creative ice cream is not only a source of business growth, but also a good carrier to reach young consumers and build brand image.” The relevant person in charge of Haagen Dazs told the snack generation today that in the future, Haagen Dazs will join hands with more well-known scenic spots to launch cultural and creative ice cream products.
When asked about the profit level, the above person in charge said to the snack generation, “the emergence of Wenchuang ice cream lies in its interest, emotional connection and desire to share. If it is a national IP image, it has the opportunity to expand to more scenarios. The profit margin is related to the value chain. Through the cooperation of modeling, taste, taste and marketing activities, the customer unit price can be reasonably increased, so as to achieve a reasonable profit margin.”
Sakura shaped cultural and creative ice cream launched by Haagen Dazs last year (picture source: Official wechat of Dazs)
In fact, this is not the first time Haagen Dazs has set foot in the field of cultural and creative ice cream. The snack generation noticed that in March, 2021, Haagen Dazs cooperated with Beijing Yuyuantan Park to launch cherry shaped cultural and creative ice cream, and then joined hands with Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing Zoo, Beijing Temple of heaven and other famous scenic spots and universities to launch corresponding creative products.
Last year, Bright Dairy also began to test the market segment with the “light” participation of OEM. The snack generation learned that the company’s bright cold drink cooperated with the 10th Flower Expo to launch its first three-dimensional shaped ice cream “bright flower dream round ice cream”. It is reported that the product selects the representative “Shanghai flower” Magnolia and Chongming daffodil, and uses innovative technology to “carve” a 3D flower shape.
“With the social and economic development and the continuous improvement of living standards, consumers’ demand for ice cream is not just simple taste enjoyment, but creative and cultural ice cream has gained a higher acceptance.” The person in charge of Guangming dairy said to the snack generation today that for brands, the development of new products with cultural and creative concepts is not just for a flash in the pan in the scenic spot, “it is more about the transmission of emotional values and cultural heritage, and enriching consumers’ experience of ice cream.”
Earlier, before this wave of cultural and creative ice cream with Chinese local cultural history and local customs became popular, operators such as Universal Studios and Disney theme park had already formed a mature business of derivative consumer goods under popular IP, including cultural and creative ice cream.
Xiaohuang Wenchuang ice cream launched by Mengniu last year
The snack generation noticed that the theme parks often choose to cooperate with big brands. For example, universal Beijing Resort and Mengniu announced a cooperation in 2017. In September 2021, the ice cream produced by Mengniu, such as the little yellow man, was listed before and after the opening of the Universal Studios in Beijing, and became a popular online product.
“From September 2021 to May this year, the little yellow man ice cream sold well and became the sales champion of food products of Universal Studios in Beijing.” The relevant person in charge of Mengniu replied today that by continuously deepening this strategic cooperation, Mengniu will creatively provide consumers with high-quality dairy products. At the same time, it will create greater brand influence in a “richer, three-dimensional and more imaginative” way.
Opportunities and limitations
Holding up cultural and creative ice cream to take photos and share them on social media has almost become the “standard” for young people to punch in their travel cards.
According to the observation of the ice cream report of inminster in 2021, since the launch of a series of unique ice cream in Xi’an City Wall scenic area during the May Day Golden Week holiday in 2020, more and more tourist attractions, including the Forbidden City and the West Lake, have launched their own cultural and creative ice cream. “The popularity of cultural and creative ice cream benefits from the renewed tourism enthusiasm after the epidemic situation is gradually alleviated in 2020.” Luruixun, a senior food and beverage analyst at IMT, told the snack generation today.
The upgraded version of “welcoming pine” cultural and creative ice cream listed in Huangshan scenic spot yesterday (picture source: Network)
“Although flavor is the most important factor when choosing ice cream (66%), 36% of consumers still say that the appearance of the product is the most important for them. This shows that consumers now have higher requirements for ice cream. In addition to flavor, texture, appearance and packaging are important components of the consumer experience.” Luruixun said that the eye-catching appearance of Wenchuang ice cream can better meet the social sharing needs of consumers, thus further stimulating consumption.
The continued popularity of cultural and creative ice cream also benefits from and promotes the rise of the national tide.
These ice creams, which have captured many consumers, have a “cultural content” in addition to their high appearance, which can make history and traditional culture “live” in a way that young people like. For example, after eating an “owl you” ice cream launched by Shanxi Museum, consumers may learn that its shape comes from the Shang Dynasty bronze owl you (Xi ā oy ǒ u) , dubbed the most “cute” cultural relic by netizens. The owl is an owl, and the owl is a wine vessel.
The “owl you” cultural and creative ice cream recently launched by Shanxi Museum (picture source: Shanxi daily)
However, the development of cultural and creative ice cream also faces many challenges.
On the one hand, the characteristics of deep binding with the experience of the scenic spot also make the consumption scene of cultural and creative ice cream very limited, and it is difficult to enter the daily consumption scene. Generally speaking, tourists buy cultural and creative ice cream more for the sense of ceremony than for the taste. Therefore, cultural and creative ice cream will lose its attraction once it is sold away from scenic spots or museums.
“Breaking through the restrictions of the scene is a problem that cultural and creative ice cream needs to solve at present, because its consumption scene is still relatively single, and it is more deeply bound with tourist attractions.” Lu Ruixun said to the snack generation, “in general, the consumption scene of ice cream has become more diversified and daily. The brand has the opportunity to help consumers travel on taste without leaving home or with limited travel, which is also the direction of cultural and creative ice cream that deserves attention and breakthrough.”
On the other hand, major consumption scenarios such as travel are vulnerable to the impact of the epidemic. According to the IMT data, due to the impact of the epidemic, the proportion of consumers who eat ice cream while traveling decreased from 35% in 2017 to 30% in 2021.
“After the epidemic, food safety has always been a concern of consumers. Well-known and familiar brands can bring consumers a sense of security in the face of uncertainty, so big brands will have more advantages in this aspect. However, small brands can also respond to consumer needs faster and help their products break through by virtue of flexibility and agility.” Luruixun mentioned.
Under the epidemic risk, brands with multi-point layout will also be more resilient. Today, when asked how to overcome the impact of the uncertainty caused by the epidemic on shift production and supply chain, Haagen Dazs told the snack generation that its current cultural and creative ice cream project covers many cities across the country, and there are also many cooperative factories located in different cities at the end of the supply chain, so it can hedge the impact of the epidemic to a certain extent.
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